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Okagbare pulls out of sprints showdown with Ta Lou

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File photo: Okagbare shortly after a race

By BEN EFE in Asaba

Athletics enthusiasts here in Asaba have been left disappointed following Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor’s withdrawal from the sprint showdown with Marie Josee Ta Lou.

Officials were looking forward to a mouth watering clash between Okagbare and Ta Lou, but the Nigerian record holder in the 100m and 200m did not run in the heats decided yesterday. It was gathered that she might not be running the 200m and probably the relays later in the Championships.

It was not clear why Okagbre pulled out of the event. But sources close to the athlete hinted that she is not fully fit and was looking to build up if she could compete in the relay.

Cote d’ Ivoire  Ta Lou, the leading woman in the world this season is now expected to have a free ride to her first African Athletics Championships title with Ghana’s Janet Amponsah being the only athlete to pose any challenge. Ta Lou post 11.25 seconds in the heats.

Nigeria’s Joy Udo Gabriel and Mercy Ntia Obong are also in contention for the 100m title. The semi-finals will be decided today.

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